Lockin' and Poppin'
I have been doing judo for a few years now and compete regularly. My right knee has given me problems in the past. Sometimes I would take a hard osotogari at an angle but I would just RICE for a few weeks and wrap it up tight at training.
Lately I have been doing a lot of squats and running and my knee has been locking up. If I am kneeling or if my knee is bent at an angle my knee will lock up. When this happens I can't straighten my knee with my quads alone. I have to straighten it with my my hands. When it straightens there is a loud pop and my knee is able to flex normally albeit with a little soreness. This has happened 5 times in the past two months.
I think I have a meniscal tear. I am getting an MRI after my insurance kicks in at my new job but I am worried about the cost and recovery time of surgery. Have any of you had a meniscal tear and recovered using physical therapy alone? Does locking ever just go away with exercise?
I know I should wait till after the MRI but I just want to hear that it is possible to recover without the surgery.
Haven't had a meniscal tear myself but seen quite a few. Without being able to examine you myself, what you have sounds like one.
I would recommend you consult sports physician or similarly skilled practitioner, have him evaluate whether you need to get it scanned or not and follow his advise regarding physiotherapy, which has a fairly decent success rate. If that turns out not to work after several months, the surgery is fairly simple.
Don't mistake this for medical advice, but meniscus degeneration and/or tears have been found in totally asymptomatic populations before. Pain is very poorly correlated to tissue damage on the whole. I would think (or hope) any good doctor or physio would be aware of this fact and they would opt to treat conservatively to start before sending you under the knife. The worst case scenario with pre-surgery prescriptive exercise is a faster recovery time.
I tore my meniscus and ACL at the same time. When they reconstructed my ACL, they took out 2/3 of my meniscus because it was hanging out in the joint space. I currently have recovered from the ACL but now have pain where the meniscus is bone on bone. They would like to do another surgery to reconstruct my meniscus, but I'm holding off on that.
Usually they won't do surgery on that meniscus unless it is hanging out in the joint space and interfering with range of motion or if it is causing pain. Don't mess around with it right now until you find out what the damage is. Once they do that MRI they will know.
Luckily the meniscus surgery isn't as bad as an ACL surgery and the recovery is relatively quick.
I went to a sports doctor and got an MRI. It turns out I have a big meniscus tear and my ACL was torn.
I was really surprised. I have some instability in my knee but even if I run I am relatively pain free. I can walk normally and can squat ass to grass no problem.
I know ACL surgery is much more complicated and I am not looking forward to the next few months.
Diesel, how has your ACL surgery affected your law enforcement career and training?
Bit unfortunate, but far from being the end of the World as far as your athletic career is concerned.
An interesting factoid related to me by a senior physiotherapist is that up to 50% of elite-level rugby players train and play with fully a fully ruptured ACL or PCL, compensating with muscle for the lack of stability. Don't have a source for that statistic, but the fact remains that you can still function at a high level, you just need to do a hell of a lot of exercises to stabilise around your thigh and kneecap. You will soon come to love and hate your physio in equal amounts.
Best of luck with it.
Recovery from the ACL surgery wasn't TOO bad. I had a nerve block in, so no pain for about 5 days. Then the nerve block came out and some pain came with it. Ice worked better than pain meds, so I only took one percocet, then Ice and Ibuprophen the rest of the time. I started weight bearing and moving it a day after. In PT they had to hook up a muscle stimulator because my quads weren't firing, but once they started going I was good to go.
After a few weeks they started me on a recumbent bike and squats. Once I started that, I never looked back. There were some weird things that happened. When I would stand up after having my leg propped, and the blood flowed down through my knee, it hurt a lot. My foot cramped around the arch for about a week and a half, when I started walking, due to my altered gait.
Right now, my ACL is great. No instability or issues at all. The problem I have is due to my meniscus being gone. That causes pain when I walk stairs or run. I had a patella tendon graft, which causes pain when I kneel down or squat too low with a load on. Also my knee is sore when rain comes through. But it is what it is. I'm 11 months out from surgery right now. I still notice small improvements, and they said it would take more than a year for full recovery.
Oh, and my quads in my right leg are still not the same size as my left. My surgeon said they may never catch up, and if I stop working out, I will notice a difference with my leg immediately. So, I have incentive to keep working out!! :)